Austria is a federally organized parliamentary republic in Central Europe. In E-W direction, Austria extends over 575 km in N-S direction over 294 km. The surface is 83 871 km2 and a population of 8 334 000.
Austria consists of 9 provinces. Vienna is the capital and a province.
Federal President Heinz Fischer is the head of State and head of government since the elections of 2008 is the
Chancellor Werner Faymann. The Parliament has two chambers, the National Council (183 deputies) and the Bundesrat (representing the interests of the provinces).
1995 Austria joined the European Union.
The highest mountain is the Grossglockner with 3798 m. There are many small and two large lakes: Bodensee and Neusiedlersee.
About 85% of the area is used for agriculture and forestry. Austria's farmers are increasingly turning to organic farming. Wine is an important export product. Due to the large forest areas the forestry sector is also an important factor. Wood is exported. The once important mining has become less important.
The services in Austria make up the largest share of economic performance. This is achieved mainly through tourism, trade and the banks.
Electrical energy is produced from 60% hydro, 2% from wind turbines. Nuclear power plants are prohibited in Austria after a referendum in 1978.